Nov 3, 2021
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Putinomics at an impasse: Mikhelson and Potanin multiply billions of dollars, and people become poorer

Photo: co-owner of Novotek Leonid Mikhelson

Photo: co-owner of Novotek Leonid Mikhelson (Photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS)

Positive news: the well-being of Russians has grown! Moreover, significantly, when compared with the beginning of the current year. This is where the positive ends. Because the number of those whose soum continues to replenish, despite the circumstances dictated by the pandemic, is quite limited. In particular, this applies to oligarchs and appanage princelings. The more surprising the income they received.

The most significant one was recorded by the co-owner of Novotek Leonid Mikhelson: growth was $ 8.58 billion. In total, he now has 33.3 billion in accounts, and, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (BBI), is unconditionally first in the ranking of Russian billionaires.

BBI puts one of the main owners of Norilsk Nickel in second place behind Mikhelson Vladimir Potanin… Since the beginning of 2021, he has become richer by a modest $ 1.76 billion, increasing his fortune to $ 31.8 billion.

The third place is taken by the main owner of Severstal Alexey Mordashov: plus $ 5.76 billion, total $ 28.8 billion

Further, as it decreases – Vladimir Lisin, the beneficiary of the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant (NLMK) and not only him ($ 28.6 billion).

The president and co-owner of the domestic oil company Lukoil has a little less Vagita Alekperova – 24.5 billion

Then comes Timchenko, owning stakes in Novatek and Sibur ($ 23.3 billion)

Alisher Usmanov, Metalloinvest and Megafon ($ 21.8 billion).

Compared to them Roman Abramovich, “Evraz”, with a modest $ 18.9 billion resting …

Jealousy, especially money, poor quality. And it is definitely not what Russians usually get from familiarity with such statistics. The overwhelming majority of them never dreamed of such money. It is not envy that takes possession of the minds and hearts of ordinary people, who have long forgotten what this very prosperity looks like, but surprise in half with bitterness.

In recent years, they basically only lose: on spending for goods, food, gasoline, and not less, and often even more, for services. And so on, the list is endless and constantly growing.

As of the end of summer, every eleventh Russian “eats up” a fifth of their budget. Almost all of their earnings are spent on food for 16%. More than 60% of them spend about half of their monthly income on food. And only 8.8% spend no more than 20% of their financial capabilities on food. Yes, of course, this is influenced by the constant price hikes in retail chains, the export orientation of producers, and the weakening of the ruble. But is it only about them?

Why does the population lose, and a small handful of fellow citizens add – and not in rubles, but in foreign currency, and not from time to time, but read from hour to hour? What kind of business is this in a Russian country? Or, more correctly, an economic model that allows those close to power, calling things by their proper names, to rob the people?

About the close ones who multiply their condition. For example, Gennady Timchenko, an acquaintance, then a teammate, then a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin from the time of his, Vladimir Vladimirovich, work in Smolny as Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg for Foreign Economic Relations. Timchenko was then an employee of the trade department of a plant in the regional town of Kirishi and was engaged in the oil products business (I remember the ex-Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Serdyukov, also started with a trade department, only in a furniture store).

Or Alexey Kudrin… Was a prominent figure in the Smolny Finance Committee under Sobchak in the early 1990s (in contrast, I note in parentheses, from the invisible and almost inaudible by the townspeople V.V. Putin). True, his “new capitalist programs” did not bring success to St. Petersburg, rather the opposite. The city, as it lived before him on the cards for everything and everyone, and continued. This, as it is believed, is his, Kudrin’s, idea – to attract business sharks to governing the state. That is, excuse me, an economy that makes the state either rich, coping with the challenges of our time, or …

– The current economic model has been used in our country for more than twenty years, practically unchanged, – said “SP” Anatoly Bazhan, financier, scientist, doctor of sciences, head of the department of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences… – It was then adopted by our theorists from economics, headed by Kudrin, from textbooks on capitalism. They chose a concept that was suitable in their opinion for Russia and began to implement it. Not having learned or not wanting to learn the main thing: this concept (like any other) is not suitable for every country and not in every situation. Moreover, the goals of overcoming the protracted crisis that existed at that time were identified incorrectly. The main thing should be the development of the economy, not the fight against inflation!

“SP”: – However, the beginning of the 2000s, up to 2008/10 gave hope for the rise and development of industry, trade …

– Against the background of almost complete devastation – yes, some of the results were impressive. But, again, the pace of economic recovery was not very high. There was no need to talk about catching up with developed countries. As it is now. This is due to the obvious, let’s say, depolarization of the population. A stratum has appeared, and it is not so small, of oligarchs, which once did not reasonably receive privatization levers.

Earning huge personal funds on them, they are in no hurry to invest them in the development of the country, but are taken offshore, spend abroad to buy newspapers, football clubs, islands, citizenship, and much more.

And in their home country they practice a credit policy that is designed exclusively to reduce inflation, but not at all for economic growth. Look at how they are acting now, in the pandemic, in the European Union. There, after all, the economy is also suffering from the virus, we are not the only ones. The interest rates on loans for the population are decreasing. The credit network itself is expanding. This allows attracting funds primarily for development, ensures price stability, and with it a low, I would say, insignificant growth in inflation. In our country, the monetary authorities are struggling with the devaluation of the ruble. He sees no other problems.

“SP”: – Russia has now entered the top five countries in terms of the rate of decline in the well-being of people, which was recorded by the bank’s analysts Credit Suisse… They compared our economy to the 50th largest in the world. It turned out that over the past year, the possibilities of Russian households decreased by $ 338 billion in nominal terms. According to this indicator, the Russian Federation took third place in the world, behind only India (minus $ 594 billion) and Brazil (minus $ 839 billion).

– That’s right, you can’t argue … Our economic and financial bloc adheres to a dubious course. And the president is a politician, in economics he relies on specialists, or those who consider themselves to be such. (Or those who have some major interest – ed.)

“SP”: – Not everyone knows that our president once defended his Ph.D. thesis in economics. They say very interesting. But this is by the way. In your opinion, what can be done in such a situation – to continue to cheer people up with handouts, in the form of one-time payments? A lot of budgetary funds are spent on them, but to the point …

– I have my own opinion on this matter. But I am not a politician … One thing I know clearly: the economic model with the involvement of shark business has long since exhausted itself and now it only causes harm. And the Russian state, alas, has no other model yet.

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